You’ve heard all the hype, now hear from four Hooked On Film reviewers on May’s most anticipated film, Get Out.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ½
Directed by the second half of sketch comedy duo Key and Peele, Get Out is a riotous horror/thriller/comedy that begs and borrows from a whole range of influences to concoct something powerful and wholly enthralling from start to finish.
The film centres on Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose Armitage (Allison Williams), a mixed race couple who, after dating for a few months, decide to head upstate for a weekend with Rose’s family. Upon arriving it’s immediately obvious that something suss is about to go down; Rose’s parents are almost too accommodating. An uncomfortable pause here, a quick glace across the dinner table there; something isn’t right, but both the couple and the audience are having a hard time placing it.
Get Out is like a feature length episode of Black Mirror in that it lays out a paranoia-infused premise and dutifully sticks to it. Even when it dips into other territory, like biting black comedy or Hitchcockian suspense, it stays true to its central idea and executes it with aplomb. I honestly can’t praise this film enough; it’s meticulous and meaningful and feels watertight.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Jordan Peele’s directorial debut does have its plot holes and conveniences here and there, but ultimately these are minor in comparison to the film’s accomplishments. As Rhys has mentioned, Get Out borrows from interesting premises we’ve seen before, and then turns it into something entirely fresh. It’s genuinely humorous when it needs to be, and utterly terrifying when it wants to be. The gradual build-up of tension creeps into your skin and sets you up for the fantastic conclusion.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Despite some inventive spins on genre tropes, creepy performances, and the obligatory jump scares, Get Out is not a truly scary movie. It’s undoubtedly ominous and eerie, and fear is subjective of course, but like many meta-horrors the air of self-awareness prevents true terror from settling in.
Fortunately, Peele makes up for this just about everywhere else, and in the process proves himself a surprising and exciting talent to watch out for. Racial dynamics are challenged and subverted to create a thriller that is consistently tense, engaging, flat-out entertaining and – best of all – stirringly original. There’s an irony to Get Out’s unanimously excellent reviews; it deftly skewers the type of people who accessorise progressiveness and political correctness to improve their image and attract attention, a category that an enormous chunk of modern critics and journalists fall into. It’s hard to argue too much with however, given that Get Out is, quite simply, an outstanding film.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ½
It is the kind of thriller that leads with misdirection and careful writing and acting. The plot is insignificant in the face of the movie’s techniques, which are employed almost exclusively to 1) lull us into a false sense of security, then 2) lead us astray, and finally 3) dim the lights and trap us in our own fears.
I enjoy a good thriller. Not many are made anymore. I enjoy a thriller even more when it has something to say and says it intelligently. As already pointed out, Get Out discusses the issues of race on levels so intricate and complex they could service a few scenes in Inception (2010). But this is a movie with personality in addition to brains. Chris is charming from under those sleepy but wary eyes. The Armitage household is friendly until friendliness no longer applies. It is important that we like Chris and fear the Armitages. I know I did, from the moment I met them both. In true Wicker Man (1973) fashion, Get Out is a movie that gradually builds sinister dread until it can no longer contain itself.
Get Out is available in Australian cinemas from May 4
Image (c) Universal Pictures 2017